Google has launched an Android Market companion website, making it easier to browse, buy and install new apps. It effectively gives you a rival experience to Apple’s iTunes Preview website.
Previously, if you wanted to explore Android apps from the Android Market you had to do it on your device, although there were always other routes to finding out about apps through various third-party websites, and from the likes of DoubleTwist's desktop app.
The new Google website will likely knock other pretenders on the head as it will let you push apps to your device using your Google account. Signing in to the Android Market website will sync the details from your Android device, letting you see what you’ve got installed through “My Market Account”.
The website got off to something of a false start, with the option to sign-in returning an “invalid request” error for those keen to test it out, but we've found it to be working now.
Otherwise the website will let you search for apps directly or browse by categories, reflecting the experience on Android devices. If you've logged-in then the apps will be reflected as "installed" if you have them (rather than "install") on the website so you can see what you've already got as you browse, which is pretty slick.
You can also opt to install apps on different devices, so if you have a phone and a tablet, you can choose which device to install on, or you can install apps you already have on a different device.
On each app page there is plenty of information given, including details such as what permissions the app has, details of changes in version updates, user reviews and related apps, along with the normal screenshots and stats.
If you don’t want to log-in to the website – if you’re on a public computer for example or if the thing is broken and won’t let you – then the QR code is provided so you can scan it with your device and download directly. Of course to do so you’ll need a barcode scanner, a free download from the Android Market. (Catch-22: the QR code below is for Barcode Scanner, but you can't scan it if you don't have it...)
The Android Market website is another string to the Android bow giving users a central place to explore the apps that are available through the official Android Market. It will also mean that those considering switching to the platform will be able to see exactly what is on offer.
You can rest assured that Pocket-lint's daily App Of The Day feature will now give you a direct link, making it simple to hook yourself up.
Check it out now on https://market.android.com/